Almost 30,000 people walked through the doors at ExCeL and crammed themselves into the MCM Expo for an occasion they are unlikely to forget and will no doubt be eager to repeat. The experience begins as you travel to the event with the trains, buses and DLRís having been invaded by cosplayers and you can feel a strong sense of anticipation in the air. With cosplayers travelling from all directions, and a noticeable pride in their chosen costumes, it reminded me of the beginning of The Warriors, minus the aftermath of rumbles and bloodshed. The family appeal of the expo really hit home while on a train to the event as a young boy spotted a cosplayer and cried out ďmister wolf!Ē while waving excitedly, and I have to admit that beyond my undeniably rugged exterior I found this incredibly cute.
As you approach ExCeL you will suddenly find yourself surrounded by row upon row of people attending the event and the positive energy from everyone will make you feel as though youíre approaching a Rock concert. At the main entrance, one of the first things youíll notice is the long cue of people eagerly waiting for tickets and I would describe how this felt but, and this is where you begin to hate me, I of course walked right past everyone.
The expo is as warm as it is busy and I second the wise words of the expo survival kit found in the official show guide, remember to keep yourself hydrated and, whatever you do, please donít leave this until you reach ExCeL and find yourself forced to spend a kingís ransom on drinks.
When you arrive at your destination you will find the expo floor awash with literally thousands of happy people and I found the vast majority of them to be well-mannered and understanding amongst the expected hustle and bustle.
There are a large number of tables with an incredible variety of items for sale ranging from autographed photos and comic-books to replica swords and cosplay outfits. Beside the more common posters and plushies were some rare and special items such as a Xena cereal box and a replica sword from Heroes signed by the legend Malcom McDowell himself. Beyond these tables, at varying times of the day, sat the cast of shows such as Heroes, Merlin, and Battlestar Galactica, awaiting a cue of excited autograph hunters.
Videogames are well represented with stands for Koei, Ubisoft, Capcom, EA and many titles were available to play much to the delight of the eager fans. To the far right of the hall there was DDR with plenty of crazy leg movements and beside this was a selection of the more obscure Japanese titles which were primarily music-oriented and a great deal of fun. There was a Midway stand with a chance to play Mortal Kombat vs DC where I was politely asked to stop filming. I was happy to oblige but a part of me wished this exchange had been more eventful with someone rushing at me and wrestling me to the ground, ah well, thereís always next year. For those packing a DS or PSP there was a comfy area where people could go and chill out which is a wise decision for anyone who starts to feel overwhelmed by the excitement of the event. There was also a nice Upper Deck section which regularly had tables full of attendees playing card games. I have to include a special mention for the Koei stand which had Warriors Orochi pins and Warriors Orochi 2 cards on sale at 10p and 20p respectively, I bought a bunch of them myself, a bargain!
There was a Robots Live platform where you could wander over and witness various robots, as seen on Robot Wars, smash each other to a pulp. A varied selection of artists sat at tables near the back of the hall, many of whom participated in open Q&A sessions at Stage 2, and an impressive selection of their work was available to look over. Greg Grundberg, who plays Matt Parkman in Heroes, likened the event to Comic-Con in the states but added that, while the expo is huge in scale, due to its tight structure this event is much more intimate. Itís likely that this level of intimacy is the reason that every guest at the event appeared to be very comfortable and had a genuine smile on their face. Iím already missing the expo and I canít wait for next year!PHOTOS!http://www.teamteabag.com/2008/10/30/london-mcm-expo-2008/